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Volunteers preparing for Vernon Holiday Spirit Meal

Published: Nov. 24, 2021 at 6:31 PM CST
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VERNON, Texas (KAUZ) - Thanksgiving is coming fast and volunteers in Vernon are gearing up for their big Holiday Spirit Thanksgiving dinner.

What they’re prepping is sliced up ham, shredded bread, corn, and string beans. This is going to help feed about 700 people and they’re doing this just to make some don’t eat alone.

“I’m very honored to get to do it,” said Sharon Goins, Vernon Holiday Spirit Meal Coordinator.

Sharon and her husband Billy are carrying on a Vernon tradition of over 30 years. The pair has been coordinating the Vernon Holiday Spirit Meal for the past five years with the help of some very loyal volunteers.

“I think everybody feels that way that we get to do it and it’s not have to do it,” said Sharon. “I mean, sometimes it’s frustrating but we get to do it, we don’t have to and as long as we get to do it, we will do it.”

Landry Wilkinson, 15 years old, has been volunteering for half of his life with his grandfather. In that time, he’s become an expert in cutting ham and has cut more than 2,000 pounds.

“It makes you feel good if you give to people that don’t have that much,” said Wilkinson.

Wilkinson is also creating a special bond with his grandfather.

“I get to spend time with him. We cut, we tell stories, all kinds of things,” said Wilkinson.

“This is how you’re suppose to raise your kids,” said Sharon. “It’s not ours. It’s for us to give back. It’s what you’re supposed to do. It’s how we’re supposed to be.”

Other young volunteers joined Wilkinson, learning a valuable lesson all while continuing a family tradition.

“Some people don’t get like that stuff that we get to eat with our families and they may not have other people to eat with,” said Pearson and Lincoln Hunter.

When Sharon and her husband took over, they wanted it to be meaningful to others, but she said they don’t do this alone. All of the food is donated by local businesses.

“We want the tradition to continue,” said Sharon. “Prior to COVID, we have dine-in meals and my thing was I didn’t want anyone to eat alone. I wanted if you didn’t have someone to eat with. If you get here, you can eat with us.”

The volunteers are going to be working as early as 6 a.m. and delivering food by 10 a.m. They also have some picking up their meal, and the whole effort is to make sure someone has a satisfying meal on Thanksgiving.

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